In his first MLB at-bat, Heyward made Cubs pay

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Batting seventh in his MLB debut for the Atlanta Braves, Jason Heyward watches his three-run home run in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano in Atlanta. Heyward finished 2-for-5 with 4 RBI on the day.

    Batting seventh in his MLB debut for the Atlanta Braves, Jason Heyward watches his three-run home run in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano in Atlanta. Heyward finished 2-for-5 with 4 RBI on the day. Associated Press/April 5, 2010

  • Atlanta Braves executive and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, right, chats with Braves rookie Jason Heyward before Heyward's debut against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field in Atlanta.

    Atlanta Braves executive and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, right, chats with Braves rookie Jason Heyward before Heyward's debut against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field in Atlanta. Associated Press/April 5, 2010

 
 
Updated 2/27/2016 4:46 PM

This winter, the Ricketts family agreed to sign the paychecks of outfielder Jason Heyward. That's despite what Heyward did to them in their first game as team owners.

On April 5, 2010, the Ricketts regular-season era began on Opening Day in Atlanta, and things looked mighty good for the family in the top of the first inning when Marlon Byrd hit a 3-run homer to stake starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano to a 3-0 lead.

 

It didn't last long.

The Braves scored 6 runs in the bottom of the first, with a kid named Jason Heyward breaking a 3-3 tie with a 3-run homer of his own. The at-bat was the first for Heyward in the major leagues.

In December, Heyward signed an eight-year, $184 million contract to play for the Cubs.

"It's just hard to do," he said of his debut homer. "Coming 6-7 years ago now, you realize how hard it was for all of that to happen after playing this game and having so many years of at-bats and competing against some of the best at what they do.

"It was something I'm going to remember for the rest of my life. It's a lot of fun. Ironically, here I am playing for this organization now, but everything happens for a reason. It kind of shows you how hard the game is and how much you appreciate the guys who go out there and get it done."

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